Baylor Wrestlers Rally For 37-30 Win At Bradley

Red Raiders Earn More Bonus Points In Season-Opener For Both Teams

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - by John Hunt
Bradley Central’s Dillion Tenpenney and Baylor’s Clayton Pettway at 132.
Bradley Central’s Dillion Tenpenney and Baylor’s Clayton Pettway at 132.
- photo by M. A. Locke

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears don’t lose dual meets in wrestling very often and they lose at home even less, but they came out on the short end against Baylor Thursday night in a spirited Jim Smiddy Arena.

The Bears won five of the first six matches and bolted to a commanding 24-6 lead at that point, but the Red Raiders came back later to win six of the final eight bouts to head home with the come-from-behind 37-30 victory in the season opener for both teams.

Both of these teams have dominated wrestling in the state for a number of years, so it’s always a great match with lots of intensity and plenty of fight.

That was certainly the case on Thursday.

“We’re all a long way from being in shape, but I liked the effort I saw as we have a great group of young men who are working hard,” said Baylor coach Ben Nelson.

“We’re learning how to be better wrestlers and how to fight hard, but that match at 132 was probably the turning point of the match for us.  Clayton has really worked hard in the past three years and it was nice to see his effort pay off.  We got fortunate in that match, but we’ll take a little luck every now and then,” Nelson said in reference to Clayton Pettway, who gave up the initial takedown before rallying to win by a pin with nine seconds left in the opening period.

“This was the first match for both teams and we obviously have a lot to work on, but we love wrestling these guys every year and I think it helps both teams.  But I was just looking for a good effort tonight and I’m happy that I did,” the veteran coach added.

Bradley coach Ben Smith had similar feelings about a rivalry that was restarted some five or six years ago.

“Any time you get a chance to wrestle a team like Baylor, it’s an honor.  I really didn’t think about this being our season opener, but it just fell on our calendar like that.  In a match like this, it’s not always about the outcome.  Big matches like this will help us on down the road.  I hate to lose and especially lose at home, but we just have to learn how to compete in an environment like this,” Smith said in reference to a really nice crowd in attendance.

“We lost a bunch of really good kids to graduation, but that’s no reason to stop wrestling Baylor.  Our younger kids stepped up and performed, but there were some areas in the middle where our more experienced guys didn’t come through like we had wanted.

“I thought a key match was at 145 where Austin Atchley beat one of our better guys in Andy Robinson.  And when we got pinned in the next match at 152, I knew we were in trouble.  We didn’t back away and I liked that, but an experience like this will only help us later,” he added.

Both Atchley and Robinson had a takedown and an escape for a 3-3 tie when the first period ended.  Robinson took a 4-3 lead in the second after Atchley was penalized for stalling, but the Baylor senior knotted the score at 4-4 with an escape in the final minute before scoring the winning takedown with 18 seconds left in the match.

Both teams finished the match with seven wins, but Baylor basically won it with more bonus points as the Red Raiders recorded five pins to only one for Bradley.  The Bears countered with a forfeit, a technical fall and three regular decisions to just one for Baylor, while both teams had one major decision.

Hayden Hartline, Alex Atchley, Mason Reiniche, Coleton Elrod and Pettway all had pins for Baylor while Gaven Hughes had the only pin for the Bears at 126.

Austin Atchley had the only regular decision for Baylor at 145 while 182-pound Riley Westlake had a major.

Bradley countered with a forfeit for Wes Devaney at 113, a technical fall for Daniel Mroz at 120 and regular decisions for Seth Gerena at 160, D.J. Gibson at 195 and Kevin Gentry at 220.

Both teams will be in action on Saturday with Baylor going to the Tullahoma Duals while Bradley will head to Peachtree Ridge High School in Gwinnett County, Ga. For the Mountain View Duals.

They could possibly meet again on Dec. 9 as both will be entered into the ever-tough Cleveland Duals.


(Match began at 220 Pounds)

106 – Glen O’Daniels (Brad) major dec. Kade Hartline, 9-1;

113 – Wes Devaney (Brad) won by forfeit;

120 – Daniel Mroz (Brad) won by technical fall over Porter Kaufman, 3:39;

126 – Gaven Hughes (Brad) pinned Grant Slye, 1:55;

132 – Clayton Pettway (Bay) pinned Dillian Tenpenny, 1:51;

138 – Hayden Hartline (Bay) pinned Ian Marchese, 4:28;

145 – Austin Atchley (Bay) dec. Andy Robinson, 6-4;

152 – Alex Atchley (Bay) pinned Skyler Bradley, 1:44;

160 – Seth Gerena (Brad) dec. Luke Fraley, 6-4;

170 – Mason Reiniche (Bay) pinned Brance Falls, :59;

182 – Riley Westlake (Bay) maj. dec. Trey Johnson, 11-3;

195 – D.J. Gibson (Brad) dec. Sam Reynolds, 5-2;

220 – Kevin Gentry (Brad) dec. Stephen Morgan, 3-2;

285 – Coleton Elrod (Bay) pinned Gavin Sewell, 2:29.

(email John Hunt at 

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